unconditionally? Remember: Everyone feels broken and unlovable in some way, at least some of the time.
about where I am while still maintaining a vision for where I want to be.
2. “I’ll never be active again.”
3. “I’ll never be able to succeed in my career again.”
To borrow the Nike slogan, the only way to overcome this thought is to “just do it.” Even if you are still recovering, try exercises you can do from a bed. The deeper fear behind this statement is that you will never be as fit as you were before your amputation. For a while, I was a runner. Originally, I thought a bump on my leg was a running injury from all the hours I spent training as a varsity athlete. When I recovered, I tried to go back to running, but even with a high-tech prosthetic leg, running simply didn’t feel right. So I took a break and did theater instead. Then, a college drama scholarship led me to a movement professor who eventually introduced me to yoga. Point being, you need to honor your new body. Listen to the places where your skin is being rubbed raw or your bones are grinding against your socket. If you base all your goals on getting back to where you used to be, you might be missing the opportunity to discover a new path. Not everyone needs to be a Paralympian. As Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss.” Design a fitness routine and lifestyle that works for you and makes you feel your best. Consider recruiting fitness experts, your prosthetist, and other fit amputees to help you. I consider my health and fitness to be a constant process. I might not be able to do a certain yoga pose today, but I know that I will eventually add it to my daily practice. I am honest and accepting
Amp it up! magazine MARCH 2013
I’ve had a variety of jobs since my amputation. I taught middle school, waited tables while I was an actress in a dinner theater, supervised college students as a resident advisor, wrote for a newspaper, and managed a café. Whenever I feel I need a modification, I talk to my boss and co-workers. At first, I worked hard to prove that I was as good as any other employee. I acted from a place of feeling that I needed to compensate. Over time, however, I have come to realize that walking up stairs slowly or needing to drive with a special pedal are small factors compared to passion, intelligence, genuine enthusiasm and creativity. Now, I see all my life experiences as assets not as liabilities. I bring a new perspective to any job. I demonstrate tenacity with every step. Eventually, I hope to make an entire career out of writing, speaking and wellness coaching. My past and my identity are at the core of this shift. I have things to say and unique stories to share. Try thinking of ways you can use all your attributes to advance your career. Or, if you really don’t feel like your career is a good fit, change it. There is no rule saying that your pre-amputation and post-amputation life must look identical. Consider branching out and exploring all your skills. Whether you decide to remain in the same career or make a change, seek out helpful
The Health & Lifestyle Magazine for Amputees Who Want to Live More Fully